Objectives: We sought to determine the incidence of late perfusion defects attributable to coronary artery mobilization in patients undergoing anatomic correction for complete transposition of the great arteries.
Background: Anatomic correction (arterial switch procedure) is currently the surgical treatment of choice for complete transposition. From its conception, there has been concern about the impact on myocardial perfusion of the coronary artery mobilization and reimplantation involved in the correction. Previous studies have demonstrated myocardial perfusion defects in patients after correction, although a causal relation between coronary mobilization, and perfusion abnormality has not been established.
Methods: In a case-comparison study designed to test this hypothesis, 29 children underwent imaging with technetium-99m 2-methoxy isobutyl isonitrile (technetium-99m mibi). Ten had undergone anatomic correction (arterial switch group; interval from operation 6.9 +/- 1.42 years [range 4.9 to 9.1]); 9 had required noncoronary open heart surgery for other cardiac lesions (post-bypass group; interval from operation 5.6 +/- 3.6 years [range 1.0 to 13.25]); and 10 had had no surgical procedure (control group). The latter group comprised children with atrial or ventricular septal defects who required a radionuclide study for shunt calculation. Planar studies were performed in all 29 children, and additional tomographic acquisition was achieved in 25. To assess reversibility of perfusion defects both an exercise and a rest planar study were performed in the arterial switch group.
Results: Perfusion abnormalities were observed in seven of the nine children in the postbypass group and in all 10 children in the arterial switch group. The frequency of perfusion defects in these two groups was similar, with at least 25% of the tomographic segments reported being abnormal. The control group had significantly fewer defects than the other two groups (p = 0.02), with only 8% of the tomographic segments judged to be abnormal. In all except one patient in the arterial switch group, the segments reported as abnormal on the planar exercise study were either abnormal or equivocal on the rest study, indicating a fixed abnormality.
Conclusions: Although the precise etiology of these perfusion abnormalities cannot be defined from this study, these data suggest that their origin is related more to the insult of open heart surgery itself than to the coronary manipulation involved in the arterial switch procedure. The functional importance requires further study.